Ron DeSantis Makes Seven Appointments to the Commission for Independent Education

Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Mildred Coyne, Jeff Cross, Judith Marty, Troy Stefano, Sharon Taylor-Ellis, Kristin Whitaker, and Burton “Tra” Williams III to the Commission for Independent Education.

Mildred Coyne, PhD
Coyne, of Cocoa, is a Senior Vice President of Broward College. She is the Founder and Co-Chair of the Florida College System’s Council of Workforce Education, a board member of CareerSource Broward, and a member of the National Association of Community Colleges. Coyne earned her bachelor’s degree in communication from Point Park University and her master’s degree in higher education administration and doctorate in higher education leadership from Capella University.

Jeff Cross
Cross, of Orlando, is the Senior Vice President of Online for Herzing University. He has been involved in higher education for nearly 25 years. Cross earned his bachelor’s degree in business from California State University and his master’s degree in business administration from Webster University.

Judith Marty
Marty, of Miami, is the President of Doral College. She is the former Board Chair of Pinecrest Charter Schools and was previously designated as a Breakthrough Principal by the National Association of Schools Administrators. Marty earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Kean University and her master’s degree in education from the University of Miami.

Troy Stefano, PhD
Stefano, of Wellington, is an Associate Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary. He is a member of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities. Stefano earned his bachelor’s degree in history from St. Thomas University, his master’s degree in history of Christianity and doctorate in history of Christianity and systemic theology from the University of Notre Dame, and completed Stanford University’s professional certification program in artificial intelligence.

Sharon Taylor-Ellis
Taylor-Ellis, of St. Cloud, is the Vice President of Advanced Training at Universal Technical Institute and the Campus President of the Orlando campus. She is a member of the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Taylor-Ellis earned her bachelor’s degree in history and Asian studies from Wake Forest University.

Kristin Whitaker
Whitaker, of Tallahassee, is the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at Mercury, LLC. She previously served as Vice Chancellor of Public Policy and Advocacy for the State University System of Florida and is a board member of the Florida Education Foundation. Whitaker earned her bachelor’s degree in international affairs and her master’s degree in elementary education from Florida State University.

Burton “Tra” Williams III
Williams, of Lakewood Ranch, is the President and Owner of FleetForce Truck Driving School. He is a member of the International Franchise Association and the Florida Trucking Association. Williams earned his bachelor’s degree in pre-medicine from the University of Georgia and is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Franchise Management Program.

These appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Kevin Derby
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